Study

Pine marten translocations: the road to recovery and beyond.

  • Published source details MacPherson J.L. (2017) Pine marten translocations: the road to recovery and beyond. . In Practice: Bulletin of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, 95, 32-36.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide supplementary food during/after release of translocated mammals

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Release translocated/captive-bred mammals into area with artificial refuges/breeding sites

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Use holding pens at release site prior to release of translocated mammals

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Provide supplementary food during/after release of translocated mammals

    A study in 2015–2016 in a wooded mountain region in central Wales, UK (MacPherson 2017) found that some translocated pine martens Martes martes held in pre-release pens and then provided with supplementary food and nest boxes survived and bred in the first year after release. At least four out of 10 females that had been kept in pre-release pens survived and bred the year after release. Around 10–12 months after release, 14 out of 20 martens were alive and in good condition. Twelve were within 10 km of their release site. Six martens died in the first year, two had a fungal infection two weeks after release. Authors suggest this may have been due to damp conditions in November. From September–November 2015, twenty breeding age (>3-years-old) pine martens were caught in Scotland, health checked, microchipped and fitted with a radio-collar, and in some cases a GPS logger. Martens were transported overnight to Wales, and held in individual pre-release pens (3.6 × 2.3 × 2 m) for up to seven nights. Males’ pens were within 500 m of a female, but >2 km from the nearest male. Releases took place in autumn, and supplementary food was provided for 2–6 weeks after release (for as long as it continued to be taken). Den boxes were provided within 50 m of each release pen. Martens were radio-tracked until home-ranges were established, then located daily–weekly. Intensive tracking of females was carried out in March to locate breeding sites. Hair tubes and camera traps were used to monitor breeding success. A further 19 martens were released using the same procedure in September–October 2016.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

  2. Release translocated/captive-bred mammals into area with artificial refuges/breeding sites

    A study in 2015–2016 in a wooded mountain region in central Wales, UK (MacPherson 2017) found that some translocated pine martens Martes martes held in pre-release pens and then provided with supplementary food and nest boxes survived and bred in the first year after release. At least four out of 10 females that had been kept in pre-release pens survived and bred the year after release. Around 10–12 months after release, 14 out of 20 martens were alive and in good condition. Twelve were within 10 km of their release site. Six martens died in the first year, two had a fungal infection two weeks after release. Authors suggest this may have been due to damp conditions in November. From September–November 2015, twenty breeding age (>3-years-old) pine martens were caught in Scotland, health checked, microchipped and fitted with a radio-collar, and in some cases a GPS logger. Martens were transported overnight to Wales, and held in individual pre-release pens (3.6 × 2.3 × 2 m) for up to seven nights. Males’ pens were within 500 m of a female, but >2 km from the nearest male. Releases took place in autumn, and supplementary food was provided for 2–6 weeks after release (for as long as it continued to be taken). Den boxes were provided within 50 m of each release pen. Martens were radio-tracked until home-ranges were established, then located daily–weekly. Intensive tracking of females was carried out in March to locate breeding sites. Hair tubes and camera traps were used to monitor breeding success. A further 19 martens were released using the same procedure in September–October 2016.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

  3. Use holding pens at release site prior to release of translocated mammals

    A study in 2015–2016 in a wooded mountain region in central Wales, UK (MacPherson 2017) found that some translocated pine martens Martes martes held in pre-release pens and then provided with supplementary food and nest boxes survived and bred in the first year after release. At least four out of 10 females that had been kept in pre-release pens survived and bred the year after release. Around 10–12 months after release, 14 out of 20 martens were alive and in good condition. Twelve were within 10 km of their release site. Six martens died in the first year, two had a fungal infection two weeks after release. Authors suggest this may have been due to damp conditions in November. From September–November 2015, twenty breeding age (>3-years-old) pine martens were caught in Scotland, health checked, microchipped and fitted with a radio-collar, and in some cases a GPS logger. Martens were transported overnight to Wales, and held in individual pre-release pens (3.6 × 2.3 × 2 m) for up to seven nights. Males’ pens were within 500 m of a female, but >2 km from the nearest male. Releases took place in autumn, and supplementary food was provided for 2–6 weeks after release (for as long as it continued to be taken). Den boxes were provided within 50 m of each release pen. Martens were radio-tracked until home-ranges were established, then located daily–weekly. Intensive tracking of females was carried out in March to locate breeding sites. Hair tubes and camera traps were used to monitor breeding success. A further 19 martens were released using the same procedure in September–October 2016.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 18

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.


Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust